A few weeks ago, one of my colleagues threw a party that went on all night long. It started at around 8 PM in the evening and stopped at 7 AM the next morning. Although I enjoyed the loud music at first, but soon my ears started to hurt and I had to leave. This made me wonder how loud the music really was. Sure there are laboratory instruments that can measure the level of sound or noise in standard units, but why shell out money when you have an Android phone? I installed a small app called Sound Meter and it immediately showed the level of ambient sound in terms of decibels.
Sound Meter is an Android app that uses your smart phone’s microphone to record the sound around you and calculate its loudness level in the standard units of sound – decibels. It works in two modes – the graph mode and the text mode. In the graph mode a graph plot of the sound loudness is displayed with respect to time. In the text mode the the current sound loudness is compared with the range of well known sound sources like the jet engine, factory machinery, rock music, subway train, park, quiet office, library etc.
When I measured the sound in my room with the ceiling fan running, the sound level stayed around 30 decibels. If the sound level is not being displayed correctly, then you can calibrate and adjust it using the calibration option. To calibrate, you have to use a sound source of known decibel loudness and then check if Sound Meter is giving the same level or not and if not then adjust it accordingly.
In the settings, you can enable the upside down mode which rotates the screen 180 degrees so that you can use your smart phone with microphone on the upper side. You can also enable the sound effect which makes a sound when sound levels change.
Conclusion: Sound Meter can turn your smart phone into a handy sound loudness meter and you can measure the sound level around you in terms of decibels. It can show you the changing sound level in a graphical mode or in the comparison text mode.
You can get the Sound Meter app from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=kr.sira.sound.